Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Comcast Defends Content Filtering

Comcast tries to defend its net neutrality, network management and P2P filtering.

Wikipedia defines Network neutrality(equivalently "net neutrality", "Internet neutrality" or "NN") as a principle that is applied to residential broadband networks, and potentially to all networks. Precise definitions vary, but a broadband network free of restrictions on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, on the modes of communication allowed, that does not restrict content, sites, or platforms and where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams would be considered neutral by most observers.

This principal seems to be foreign to service provider Comcast (and now AT&T) as they have come under fire for their network management practices.

Comcast has taken to the approach of limiting or even denying file-sharing traffic. While they have admitted to delaying P2P traffic during peak hours, they deny blocking P2P applications completely. However many users have claimed otherwise.

Two articles "Comcast Defends Filtering in FCC Filing" and "Comcast Under Fire Again for Net Neutrality" both from PC Magazine have in-depth coverage of Comcast's position on the issues.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of a House Internet and telecommunications panel has introduced a new bill HR5353 labeled the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act". Markey claims the bill is designed to assess and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers. The bill tasks the FCC with the job of conducting an assessment of broadband practices and consumer rights. Finally, it requires the FCC to hold eight broadband summits around the nation and to report back to Congress on its findings and any recommendations for further action.

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